Meet David Shrigley, the man behind the champagne satire

British artist David Shrigley is known for his distinctive designs that highlight the humor and banality of everyday life. Combining colorful, semi-realistic figures with the classic scribble of his writing, his pieces serve as a sort of social commentary and are highly regarded in the art world and in general.

While Shrigley’s drawings are the cornerstone of his artistic success, the artist has comfortably extended his practice to other mediums including large-scale installations, sculpture, photography and animation. Most recently, he launched the Mayfair Tennis Ball Exchange in London, an interactive installation that asks participants to swap a brand new tennis ball for an old one. Whatever the medium, his work is always imbued with a sense of play.

Shrigley has also broadened the subject of his art through a variety of intentional partnerships. In 2020, the artist began a collaboration with the Maison Ruinart champagne house, which was recently unveiled at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. After discovering the intricacies of champagne production during a stay at the Maison in France , Shrigley has produced a series of new works to commemorate the mission and the delicious product of Maison Ruinart. Inspired by the champagne-making process, his installation “Unconventional Bubbles” includes 36 drawings, gouache paintings, three neon installations, two ceramic works and a life-size door installation.

David Shirgley in the studio.

The collaboration was celebrated with a 300-person party at the start of Art Basel, allowing guests to mingle with life-size interpretations of Shrigley’s work and witness his take on Maison Ruinart. The revelers laughed as they interacted with Shrigley’s Grape Stomp setup and dodged the absolutely massive inflatable worm towering over the DJ booth.

Although Shrigley was not “a partner with just any business,” he explains, he felt “comfortable working with Maison Ruinart because their product is sustainable: it is a plant. Other luxury goods like sports cars are terrible for the world and the world just doesn’t need sports cars anymore. Everyone needs a glass of champagne.

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